Big. Bold. Brilliant. These are not the words you would use to describe Lacuna Coil’s highly anticipated 119 20th anniversary show in London. They’re just not up to the task. For this show was beyond that entirely, as Lacuna Coil turned their night to remember into a night you are never likely to forget.
Epic by design and execution, the curtain dropped to reveal a circus tent wrapping itself high into the rafters of the O2 Forum. All around the drum platform, performers dressed in a variety of mythical, demonic, and visually striking outfits paraded across the stage. The initial opulence and grandeur, coupled with an acutely personal and intimate feel to the evening, saw Lacuna Coil joyfully begin a very special set, one that enhanced the night’s genuine sense of occasion.
As the crowd sang joyously to the much beloved “My Wings,” and the undisputed classic, “Swamped”, jaws were firmly dropped to the floor as Queen of the stage, Cristina Scabbia, wielded fire on her hands during “Blood, Tears, Dust”. Yet as if these opening moments weren’t already powerful enough, the first notes to the ‘Dark Adrenaline’ album’s standout “End of Time”, raised hairs on the back of your neck as the overwhelmed crowd owned the vocal duties to this classic song. A moment made more memorable by Andrea Ferro’s truly humbled expression as he sang along with loyal fans. A truly spellbinding moment.
Celebrating the best of twenty years meant the generous two and a half hour, career-spanning set simply had to feature some new classics as well as legendary historical landmarks. Even so, newer favorites such as “The House of Shame” welded perfectly with memorable milestones such as “Comalies,” and the eternal crowd pleaser “Closer.” As songs came hard and fast, nowhere on stage was space left unused with band members, wild pyrotechnics, or angelic and demonic suspension artists spinning and flying from every corner creating a mesmerising spectacle. On ground level, costume changes for “I Like It”, “Our Truth,” and the bands early favourite, “Heavens a Lie,” saw fresh and stunning takes on these well-loved classics, delivered like never before.
As the band edged towards their final moments, they were committed to closing the show with a bang. In a Lady Gaga inspired moment, with a Gothic spin, an awestruck audience watched a piano roll on stage as Scabbia was slowly elevated above them and toward the peak of the circus styled platform, her outfit spreading, wing like, for what proved to be another of the evening’s highlights. Pared back, moving renditions of “Falling,” and “Wide Awake,” coloured the evening with an unfathomable and unforgettable hue. The sheer enthusiasm, and sincere adulation, shared by all was given full expression in a rapturous round of applause that, had the encore not arrived, could well have gone on all night.
Kicking off the encore, some collective head banging was enjoyed to “I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name),” which preceded the bands iconic reimagining of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence,” a performance that filled the room with the audience’s vocal harmonies. Finally, and reluctantly, Lacuna Coil closed what was a momentous occasion with their empowering “Nothing Stands in Our Way’. A fan favorite that captures the spirit of the band, making it the perfect classic with which to close a perfect show. A show of wild spectacle and wilder music, of glorious lights displays and show stopping performances. A truly audacious occasion.
Lacuna Coil’s 119 20th anniversary celebration was a night committed to celebrating and honouring their rich history and living legacy. And what a living legacy it is. Playing songs they never played before as well as classics that have stood the test of time, while proudly acknowledging members past and present, anyone fortunate enough to have been there felt privileged to have been part of something truly special. Something they helped build, and something the band encouraged them to feel a part of and to share in. On an unforgettable evening, Cristina Scabbia, Andrea Ferro, Marco Coti Zelati, Ryan Folden and Diego Cavallotti invoked a swelling sense of pride amongst their fans, who gifted them with a reciprocated unconditional love in return. A love they have well and truly earned. For the story of metal cannot be told without acknowledging the incomparable, and the irreplaceable, Lacuna Coil. Here’s to yet another twenty years from one of the best bands around.